An engineer in the art world; Gallery.
MALCOLM Barton might well have become a professional artist had it not been for the fact that his secondary school stopped teaching art.
Instead, the young Malcolm, now 68, studied maths and science and forged a highly successful career in civil engineering, eventually becoming an expert in the regeneration of derelict land. His work with the environmental charity Groundwork on a PS77m millennium project to reclaim post-industrial sites earned him an MBE.
But art remained an important part of Malcolm's life and over the years he has exhibited up and down the country, producing between 20 and 30 paintings a year.
"I don't remember a time when I didn't paint or draw," said Malcolm, who lives in Edgerton with his wife Patsy. "At secondary school in Sheffield I had an art teacher who was my mentor and I was set to follow a career in art. But then the teacher left and art was dropped from the curriculum."
Art became a hobby instead and today Malcolm is a member of the Leeds Fine Artists, currently holding its annual exhibition at the North Light Gallery in Armitage Bridge.
Malcolm says he is "a painter of beauty."
"I don't make social statements. There is a place in art for that but I respond to the world around me and I want to create something pleasing to look at." He focuses on figurative works - landscapes, urban views, flowers and portraiture, mainly in oil and pastel, although some of his paintings use an unusual self-developed technique of acrylic underpainting with pastel worked over the top.
While living in Shropshire Malcolm was a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and exhibited at the organisation's permanent home in the city. He has also shown works at The Pastel Society in London and with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. In May he will be exhibiting at The Station Gallery in Richmond. Later this year he has a solo show planned at the South Square Gallery in Bradford. Malcolm works from a converted garage space at his home and his paintings sell for around PS400, although he once sold a portrait of his daughter Caroline, a doctor in Edinburgh, for PS600 at a show in Birmingham. "She was quite cross about it and I had to re-paint it," he said.
Frequent visits to Scotland to see their daughter have provided Malcolm with both subject matter and inspiration. "I was knocked out by the work of the Scottish colourists - people like Peploe, Fergusson and Candell," he said.
Although Malcolm has only lived in Huddersfield since 2004, when he came to the area as regional director for Groundwork, he has become an established member of the art community. After joining the Leeds Fine Artists four years ago he served for three years as its chairman. His work can be seen at the North Light Gallery - from 10am until 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday opening is from 11am until 4pm. The gallery is closed on Monday and Thursday.
'A PAINTER OF BEAUTY': Malcolm Barton with his self portrait and, inset, Lilies by the same artist (JH230413Dmalcolm-02)
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|Publication:||Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)|
|Date:||Apr 26, 2013|
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